Are you an archery hunter? Do you believe that not only physical preparation but also equipment preparation are keys to your success in the field? I know that I am not the only one. I deal with broadhead tuning questions every year from customers and most are always in the frame of mind that they want to find the best flying broadhead.
Well what is the best flying broadhead? Many in the archery industry will disagree on this, and most of it is based upon marketing and advertising. Look at “my product” every company calls out to the millions of customers vying for that fleeting moment of a customer’s weakness to open their pocket book. “It is newer…It is better…It is more expensive…Got to have the new thing…Have to go with the tried and true standard for years…I’ll only shoot Muzzy broadheads…Slick Trick broadheads are where it’s at…It’s all the Rage!” you all have heard it and see it every day, just tune into any outdoor show, Facebook or other media outlet.
What does it all even mean? Why can’t you get broadheads to fly right? Why does one guy never have a problem with broadhead tuning and you constantly do? Is it true that “better archery through aggressive spending” is the only way to go? Well let’s calm a few of your nerves and get back to basic principles of tuning a bow for broadheads to make a broadhead fly true. Not every question or discussed topic will be answered in this post, but answers will come with more posts and more explanation, can’t do it all at once, what fun would that be.
Tuning a Bow for Broadheads and Shooting Form
Oh boy, we can really open a can of worms with this one. So, let’s make it simple. There is no, it’s “good enough” tune. Good enough means, it isn’t perfect, if it isn’t perfect, well Houston, we have a problem to begin with. Every bow should shoot with-in a certain set of parameters that we all can understand, there really isn’t any smoke and mirrors here. If it doesn’t shoot right, then guess what, there is something wrong with the bow that your archery tech really needs to find. Your bow must be the right draw length, the right poundage, timed correctly, correct center shot set, have your rest timed correctly (if shooting a drop away), Nock height correct. Each one of these that is off by even a little will prevent your broadheads from shooting the same as your field points. We will discuss form later.
Correct Arrow Spine
No, 350, is not what it weighs, it is the spline of the arrow. One of the biggest mistakes I see every year is just that. That plus other things lead to more people trying to shoot too weak of splined arrow for their bow. Arrow spline will also be totally affected by the length of your draw. Poundage is one thing, but length of draw is another. If your arrow is not matched to your bow setup, poundage, draw, cam type, draw force curve, kick points, tip weight, this will affect your broadhead flight immensely. You don’t just go toss a 125-grain point on your arrow and expect that it will be fine and shoot the same as your 100-grain point, it can change everything.
Is your arrow cut straight on the front and the back?
Yes, it matters… Make sure that your arrows are squared both on the nock end and the tip end. If one thing isn’t square, how can you expect it to received pressure evenly. Square your arrow, square your insert, outsert, (whichever you use) it is paramount to consistency across your dozen.
Align the Spine
Most people get confused with this one. Spine is the heaviest part of your arrow, the point in which it bends to and from. Many tests we have done over the years to find this. Some have been the bathtub float, spine measurement tools, etc. If your arrows are fletched and set on your string in various positions in relation to the “spine” of your arrow, they will not fly the same. Notice Victory archery, “spine aligned arrow”. Not every manufacture does this. Just because your label in the same direction doesn’t mean that your “spine” is in the same place. Please check it, if you want consistency and you want to eliminate all variables.
Make sure that your broadheads spin on your arrows. Did you spin them on an arrow spinner?
Golly the amount of times I hear someone, “I just tossed on some broadheads and headed out the door.” Did you spin them? Ah, no. Then how do you know that they will fly consistently? Shrugs their shoulders. Ah, the hope that if we don’t know, it can’t hurt us. One tool that every archery hunter should have, a $24 arrow spinner.
I won’t take that chance with mine or any of my customers equipment on a hunt, it deserves the respect of making sure that our equipment is as perfect as it can be. If your broad head spins perfect, on a perfectly square arrow that is spined, and splined correctly, now my friends, you have a tuned hunting arrow that if you execute the shot will go where it is pointed.
Do you realize that advertising is just that…advertising? It is meant to get you to buy something, whether it be worse or better. Why is that important? I will say something here that most manufactures, or shooters will cringe at that don’t understand physics. If you do everything correctly, tune your bow, proper shooting form, spin your broadheads, spline and spine your arrow correctly, square your arrows, then guess what. Every 100 grain broadhead, will fly the same as your field points in a controlled environment.